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Little League Maintaining Someone Else's Fields

Rosemont Little League volunteers say they have to do field maintenance if they want a playable surface.

officials say they're paying to rent the fields they play on, but are forced to do much of their own maintenance if they want a playable surface.

"The park district never puts any time in out here," said coach Scott Wright, who has taken to mowing the baseball fields at the public park behind every week.

The Cordova Recreation and Park District, which owns the league's fields at , says it can't keep the fields maintained up to the little league's standards.

"We come in and do some general maintenance," Interim District Administrator Doug Critchfield said by phone last month. "They have a certain way they like to keep the fields."

The district has seen declining revenue for the past few years, and .

Critchfield said the district is thankful little league volunteers have chosen to do some maintenance on the fields, but league officials see it as a public agency shirking its responsibilities.

"They always say, 'We're going to bring out our A Team and make it look good before your season starts,' and they never show up," Wright said.

Critchfield described the park district's maintenance at the fields as "general maintenance" like painting over graffiti, repairing fences and taking care of trees. He could not be reached for further comment.

Wright said the playing fields at Rosemont Community Park are rough and uneven, like the grass in the rest of the park–fine if you're walking a dog, but not so good for chasing down ground balls. The conditions leave Rosemont Little League officials salivating when they play an away game.

"Phoenix Field (in Fair Oaks) ... it's beautiful," Wright said. "It looks like a pro field."

He said even though , the baseball fields kids play on now are the same surfaces used decades ago. Wright said the fields are long overdue for a regrading job.

"It's time to upgrade."

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Full disclosure: Last season, Rosemont Patch sponsored a Rosemont Little League team.

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Rosemont Dad January 14, 2012 at 08:27 PM
To be fair, the park district mows the fields once a week - weather permitting. But it does not repair the baseball fences. In fact, CRPD or one of its contractors cut a fence last spring instead of entering a field through the open gate. Little League bore the nearly $100 expense of replacing the damaged section. More fence repairs are needed due to vandalism and general wear. Rosemont Little League pays a nominal annual fee to CRPD for use of the fields. This arrangement has been in effect about 30 years. The league paid for the fences and dugouts and CRPD staff has said that they would be removed if the league disbands. CRPD has not been cooperative with RLL in securing the fields. Shared-key locks were removed by CRPD last season about two weeks after CRPD installed them. The locks are needed to protect the fields from abuse, which costs the league additional maintenance expense and uses up valuable time of its volunteers. A number of local residents use the diamonds as leash-free dog runs in violation of park and county ordinance. I doubt if anyone has been cited. Then the league has to fill in the resulting holes and clean up feces. One Americana Drive resident was seen cutting a case hardened chain last year so that he could run his dogs. When confronted, he refused to pay for the damage. In short - CRPD needs to communicate more with Rosemont Little League and neighbors need to be considerate of our children.
Harold January 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
CRPD has made a habit of being non cooperative on a continual basis when it comes to maintaining this and any park in Rosemont. And Rosemont Dad, you are right about no one being cited for free running of dogs in the diamonds as well as no one has been cited for free running dogs throughout the park, even though there have been several incidents of off leash dogs attacking other dogs or individuals while just watching. If you ever read the minutes over the past few years regarding the expenditures of CRPD they spend the majority of their money in Rancho, up to and including spending money to rehab baseball diamonds used by the public high school in Rancho. So how much money do you think it would take and how many people do you think to rehab the diamonds back to original condition. And has the league addressed this issue with Mr. Natolli our representative for this area.
Brad January 15, 2012 at 06:51 AM
I'd like to hear the answers to Harold's questions too. It seems that CRPD is sliding into a depressed status at this point. Most of this is obviously budget related, but it also just seems they appear to have had some leadership problems too. Lots of shuffling lately. I would suggest that RLL and the rest of Rosemont take the opportunity of the appointment of the new District Admin as a way to get better cooperation for RCP maintenance. Considering financial problems, you'd think they would be all for working closely with community orgs who focus on the parks. Other than that, what else could we do? I doubt Rosemont has the ability to set-up its own Parks Department, but who knows, maybe if we linked up with La Riv, Butterfield, and possibly Mather. Basically, what is our alternative? Also, are there any signs on the fences stating very clearly that the fields are not intended for dog runs? I'm sure there is a "must leash" sign somewhere over there, but maybe the proper use of fields needs to be publicly clarified in particular. It's been awhile since I went over there.
Jimmy Richardson January 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM
If all else fails , come to college glen little league e have some of the best fields in the rosemont , and sacramento area , and they are maintained daily! http://www.collegeglenlittleleague.com/
Brad January 16, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Thanks Jimmy, but I'd have to say that would be a terrible idea. No offense, and I hope you understand. I'm glad you feel your fields are good, but we already have enough folks having to outsource to surrounding area for youth (and adult) activities. Aside from it being inconvieniant, we need to have things for our kids to do here, where they live. I fear seeing our parks abandoned by those who should really be using them, and then left in a sad and deteriorated state, which in turn will probably end up only being used by those we DON'T want hanging out there. No, going somewhere else is not the answer if you ask me. The good news is that there should be an announcement about some forthcoming programs for Rosemont kids by the end of the month or so, and these programs may be able to work with existing programs and assist with these problems, that is, provided there is enough community support and participation. Watch for it.

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